Limington Planning Board Minutes
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      FEBRUARY 08, 2001







These minutes were approved at the March 8, 2001 Planning Board meeting with no changes.



The Planning Board meeting was called to order by Wendy Walker, Chairperson, on February 22, 2001 at 7: 10 P.M. at the Limington Municipal Building.

Regular members present: Wendy Walker, Chairperson; Kreg Rose, Vice-Chairperson; Stanley Blake, Jr.; Chris Clark; Raymond Coffin; Diane Hubbard; Harold Jordan.

Alternate member present: Ronald Perkins.

Also attending: Priscilla Tucker, Secretary; Freeman Abbott, Code Enforcement Officer.

The meeting was videotaped by Richard Jarrett.

The first order of business was approval of the Minutes.

Diane Hubbard made the following motion:

MOTION: To approve the Minutes of the February 08, 2001 meeting of the Planning Board.

The motion was seconded by Chris Clark and carried unanimously.

The next order of business was the Public hearing on the application of Manley Brackett to construct a utility barn.

The Board members went on a site walk on February 17.

The Board reviewed the ordinance requirements for approval to determine whether the application was in compliance.

The percent of lot coverage was calculated as follows: 16980 divided by 280,000 which equaled approximately 6% lot coverage. This is well within the twenty percent (20%) allowed in the ordinance.

Mr. Brackett requested a waiver for the stormwater plan in Section 9.8.F-H of the ordinance.

Planning Board Minutes
February 22, 2001 Meeting
Page 2

Diane Hubbard made the following motion:

MOTION: To accept the request for waiver of the stormwater plan required in Section 9.8.F-H of the Zoning Ordinance.

The motion was seconded by Kreg Rose and carried unanimously.

Kreg Rose made the following motion:

MOTION: To approve the application by Manley Brackett to construct a utility barn.

The motion was seconded by Diane Hubbard and carried unanimously.

The next order of business was the Public Hearing of the application by Kevin Martell to operate a wood storage area on his property located on South Road.

Mr. Martell provided a copy of the correct deed to the property to the Board.

A site visit was held on February 17, 2001.

The board reviewed the ordinance requirements for approval to determine whether the application was in compliance.

It was determined that a Finding of Fact is that according to the Land Use Table in the Zoning Ordinance, Section 6.2, Table I, General the property is located in number 17Q "Other Commercial Activities."

There were two further conditions which shall be included to approval of the application. The first is that the roads shall be twenty-four (24) feet wide and the second, there shall be a buffer between lots 48.4 and 48.3.

Kevin Martell said he would plant hemlocks in staggered rows as a buffer between lots 48.4 and 48.3. The Planning Board suggested a fence which would include use of a snow fence.

Planning Board Minutes
February 22, 2001 Meeting
Page 3

Diane Hubbard made the following motion:

MOTION: To approve the application by Kevin Martell with the conditions the roads shall be twenty-four (24) feet wide and that a buffer be put in place between lots 48.4 and 48.3 which can be staggered rows of hemlocks or a fence as suggested by the Planning Board which could include use of a snow fence.

The motion was seconded by Kreg Rose and carried unanimously.

Wendy Walker then updated the Board on the meeting held on Thursday, February 15 regarding the independent water study.

Steve Kelley with Haley and Aldrich was in attendance. Tom Greer, Cynthia Thayer, Wendy Walker, Diane Hubbard, and Richard Jarrett were in attendance.

There were several concerns raised at the meeting. The first was that the mass balance calculation was not included in the second application. Steve Kelley did not feel that this was actually necessary.

There was a concern about the isocones that were drawn on the maps in the application. It appears that some were drawn in the wrong direction. Cynthia Thayer and Steve Kelley were going to review this a contact Wendy Walker. At this time no one has contacted Wendy Walker.

There was also concern about the laundry building run-off.

The impact of fertilizer on the tight knit area was discussed. Tom Greer reported that he didn't think this would be a problem as there were no plans to use much fertilizer.

Richard Jarrett had several concerns. He has submitted a letter to the Board stating Ins concerns but stated them now.

First he was concerned that the mass balance calculation was not included. He said that maybe at this time there was no problem but in twenty or thirty years there could be a problem. Mass balance is an important calculation.

He did not notice the water level calculations, water level determinations were not mentioned in the hydro-geological study. Tom Greer stated that the soils were not rated as severe so they would not have to meet the standards in the Zoning Ordinance.

Planning Board Minutes
February 22, 2001 Meeting
Page 4

Richard Jarrett noted in his letter and documented that the soil is indeed rated as severe. They do have to meet the more stringent standards. One of the standards they have not done is showing water levels throughout the sub-division and that is necessary because it shows the direction the water is flowing. In fact, they do have water levels at a couple of locations, namely where they are going to put the wells. If you look at the locations they are showing the water running north instead of south. He doesn't feel that the locations shown are accurate. It is a requirement of Section 10 of the Sub-division Ordinance and would request that before you schedule a Public Hearing that Webster Mill have that information or actually before the application is considered complete.

Raymond Coffin asked how Richard had determined that the soil was rated severe. He requested from York County Soil Conservation Service the latest soil interpretations. The report is dated this week. These are the very latest reports.

Wendy Walker explained that to date the cost to have Haley and Aldrich do the peer review water study is $1,200. Steve Kelley did say that he did not recommend mass balance calculation. He agreed with their formula. We do need to protect ourselves against an appeal.

She polled the members as to their feelings of going further with the mass calculation. Harold Jordan felt there should be a study. Raymond Coffin said that if there is a problem with the flow of the water he felt that the study should be definitely done. He felt the study should be done. Diane Hubbard said she was not sure. She was concerned about the fact they could appeal this. Aren't we going to take the word of the independent engineer we asked to work on this? He doesn't have anything invested in this. There are other concerns besides the mass balance that must be addressed. She feels that they should follow the recommendation of Steve Kelley. Kreg Rose said he felt that it should be required based on the information he has heard? Chris Clark agreed with Diane Hubbard that there were other more relevant concerns. Stanley Blake, Jr. said he felt it does not have to be required.

Richard Jarrett explained that Stonecrest Sub-division with fourteen (14) lots; Ryan's Hill twenty (20) lots; Burning Rose with five (5) duplexes and Chase Mills were required to provide the mass balance calculation.

Donna Delude asked if this was being looked at as a thirty (30) year plan and Wendy Walker responded that it was.

Teri Hawkins asked what the reason was that they didn't do it. Wendy Walker said that they didn't feel that it was appropriate to the design of the sub-division in that there was so much open space and everything is so tightly combined together. The other examples

Planning Board Minutes
February 22, 2001 Meeting
Page 5

which were just given were cluster sub-divisions so you had the acre and a half between them and they were a little more spread out. This one, they felt, was so close together.

Wendy Walker said she does not want this to go to appeal after all of the time put into it because of an undo hardship. She will present all of the information to the Town Attorney and see 'If he feels that the Board puts itself at risk by requiring this. We can then have another conversation when we have a response.

Donna Delude said that she is an abutter and is concerned about her property and the welfare of her child. She is so frustrated.

Point two is the water levels-Isocones. The reason the isocones were questioned at the meeting was because they are shown running in the wrong direction on the map in the application. There are plumes and septic running in the same direction.

Wendy Walker said they would have the water levels confirmed. The Section 10.6.1 of the Sub-division Ordinance relates to wells and standby systems and water levels are required. Donna Delude said that there are seven houses across the street on one well.

Richard Jarrett said that there was a reserve area would be much closer to the well and property line. It seems that future septic systems would be a problem.

It is hard to tell how far down the bedrock is, explained Richard Jarrett. If there was a draught you could conceivably have the water level go down to bedrock and then you would have the models all break down. This should be calculated. It may be that the bedrock is so far down that it doesn't matter which is what their model assumes.

Wendy Walker asked what the importance of the depth of bedrock was. Richard Jarrett answered, you have a huge pool of saturated gravel that you are pumping sewage into. Nothing happens with the sewage until it hits the water table. Then it starts to disperse throughout the water. This is what the model is predicting. If you have a draught, the model breaks down. The sewage runs along the bedrock. If the bedrock is so far down it makes no difference then I can see why draught wouldn't make a difference as it is just lowering the water levels. If there is any chance that the water level is low enough that you are going to hit the bedrock then I think the model no longer works and it is not a valid calculation.

Point three is the soil rating of severe. Wendy Walker said she would E-mail to Tom Greer a copy of the information Richard Jarrett provided with his letter to the Board. The information will be discussed at the next meeting.

Planning Board Minutes
February 22, 2001 Meeting
Page 6

Wendy Walker explained that a letter was sent to the Selectmen requesting their response to Genie Nakell regarding the elderly housing and proposed ordinance change. They have responded that York Cumberland would have to deal with the Planning Board either by petition or application. They have no particular opinion one way or the other.

Genie Nakell, York Cumberland Housing has requested an application for change of ordinance.

Elections are next Friday. Wendy Walker wanted to prepare a fact sheet explaining the Planning Board ordinance changes to hand out at the election. This would be illegal and would have to be done at least 250 feet from the polling area.

The following motion was made by Kreg Rose:

MOTION: To adjourn the February 22, 2001 meeting of the Planning Board.

The motion was seconded by Chris Clark and carried.

The meeting adjourned at 9:45 P.M.

Richard Jarrett letter

Dick Jarrett
280 Tucker Road
Limington, ME 04049
(207) 637-2879
February 15, 2001

Mr. Steve Kelly
Haley & Aldrich, Inc.
500 SouthBorough Drive, Suite 10
South Portland, ME 04106-6913

Re: Limington Project

Dear Steve,

      Thank you for working with the Limington Planning Board to perform an independent (peer) review of the hydrogeology submissions for the Webster Mill Place project.  It is comforting to know that a professional is examining the materials that have been submitted for this project.  As a former planning board member, I am cognizant of the fact that board members cannot be expected to be knowledgeable of many technical details and an independent review such as yours is needed to protect the public interest.  I was also a member of the Board when the 1996 hydrogeology amendments to the subdivision ordinance were enacted and can offer you background information on why the laws were written as they are.  It is my opinion that the hydrogeological submissions for this project do not satisfy the requirements of the Limington laws as to both completeness and accuracy.  Although I am a Maine Registered Professional Engineer (#3908), hydrogeology is not my field of expertise.  I hope that my comments based upon my general engineering background will be useful in your professional evaluation.

Issue #1
The fifty percent recharge rate assumed for the entire subdivision is not supported by the documentation in the submitted plan.

      On page 3 of the December 19, 2000 report from R.W. Gillespie & Associates, the following statement is made: "As mapped by project soil scientist Alan Burnell, soils occurring on site consist primarily of Colton, with some Croghan and minor Finch and Tunbridge soils present."  This statement is inaccurate.  For your convenience, I have attached a reduced and excerpted copy of Plan C2 from the project proposal.  This plan includes the high intensity soils map on which this statement is purportedly based.  Even a cursory examination of either the original map or this reduced copy reveals that significantly less than half of the site is actually Colton soils.  In fact the site contains significant sections of steep slopes and soils with very different properties from Colton.
      The report goes on to say "Based upon surficial geology, Maine DEP guidelines (Maine DEP, 1998), and an annual precipitation rate of 46 inches per year, the annual average recharge rate for this site is estimated to be approximately 23 inches."  This statement, based upon a faulty premise, also draws an inaccurate conclusion.  I have attached page 21 from the DEP site location application (38 M.R.S.A. 481-490) which are the DEP guidelines for such recharge calculations.  While the Colton soils can result in 40% to 50% recharge based upon surficial geology, it is very doubtful that the glacial till deposits covering the bedrock at the north end of the site could result in such high recharge rates.  In fact, the table on which this 50% overall recharge rate was assumed specifically lists such soils as furnishing a 5% to 20% recharge rate.  Combined with the fact that these soils are located on steep slopes, it would be hard to justify the assumption that these soils could have a 50% recharge rate.  As further confirmation of a lower recharge rate, if the hydrologic soil group data are considered instead, the Colton soils would average only a 43% recharge rate while the Finch soils would average 33%.  Furthermore, the development is adding well over an acre of new impervious surfaces.  It is not reasonable to assume that these impervious surfaces will have a 50% recharge rate.
      Therefore it is my contention that the conclusion of a 50% overall recharge rate for this subdivision is not supported by the documentation submitted and the DEP regulations referenced.  Note that all three Gillespie reports make these same claims.  The recharge rate claims were also disputed at the 8/29/2000 public hearing but no modification was made in 12/19/2000 report in this regard.

Issue #2
Nitrate Contribution from Development has not been not fully considered.

      The Gillespie report, when performing calculations, only appears to consider the nitrate loading from the proposed septic systems.  Plan map C4 (not attached) shows reasonably extensive loamed and seeded cleared areas over both the Colton and Croghan soils for the residential multifamily housing section.  In addition, the subdivision plan shows two single family residential lots which will likewise most likely have lawns.  The attached DEP guidelines mention specifically a standard for such residential development.  In addition, it could be expected that more than normal amounts of fertilizer might be used to maintain the cleared areas since both Colton and Croghan soils are poorly suited for landscaping purposes.  They are both rated as having severe obstacles which must be overcome because of their droughty nature.
      This anticipated nitrate loading should be included in the calculations.

Issue #3
Section of the Limington Subdivision Ordinance has not been met.

      Background: Section 10.6.1 of the Limington Subdivision Ordinance was amended in March of 1996 to update the soil suitability requirements of the ordinance.  At the time, I was a member of the board and worked extensively on the changes.  The ordinance was originally adopted in 1973 and it referenced the now obsolete Soil Suitability Guide for Land Use Planning in Maine.  The former section 10.6.1 of the subdivision ordinance flatly prohibited septic sewage disposal in soils rated poor or very poor by the Soil Suitability Guide.  That guide rated both Colton and Croghan soils as very poor for septic sewage disposal.  The Maine Supreme Court (Law Court) unanimously upheld this section of the ordinance partly because of the "shall" requirement as well as the strong public purpose of such a section.  I was personally involved in the successful appeal.  In fact, the appeal was only necessary because the developer, the Patten Corporation of Maine, flatly refused to perform a hydrogeological study for their development.  Instead, they chose to invest far more money in legal fees trying to avoid the study rather than just hiring an expert to validate their plan.  That subdivision consisted of Adams soils on very steep slopes with the septic systems stacked immediately uphill from proposed drinking wells.  One might reasonably surmise that the real reason that they were so adamant about avoiding the study was the fear of what it might show.  If you would like more information on this case, I have posted the story on the Internet and it is accessible from  There are definite parallels to that subdivision and the Webster Mills Place.  Even with the questionably high 50% recharge rate discussed above and without considering nitrate loading from the lawns, the 7/19/2000 study performed by R.W. Gillespie demonstrated, using the mass balance approach, that the subdivision would exceed Limington's standard for nitrates (5.5 mg/l verses the standard of 5.0 mg/l).  The most recent study (12/19/2000) left out the mass balance approach entirely.  Again, one might surmise that the reason the applicant does not want to do this study is that they are afraid of what it might show.  According to the 1/11/2001 Planning Board minutes however, Tom Greer stated that Cynthia Thayer reviewed the ordinance and submitted exactly what was required.  Section 10.6.1 of the Limington Subdivision Ordinance sets very specific standards for the hydrogeological assessment which is required for proposals on soils rated "severe" for septic tank absorption fields.  Both Colton and Croghan soils are rated "severe" as documented in the attached "Soil Interpretation Records".  One further side note: The predecessor document for the interpretation sheets, the Soil Survey of York County Maine provides a cautionary footnote for these soils that "Excessive permeability may cause pollution of ground water."  While I do not know the revision history for Colton soils, I do know that for Adams soils (which have many similarities to Colton soils), the Soil Survey was updated by the soil interpretation records shortly after the survey was published, partly because of this risk of ground water contamination.

      Section of the Limington Subdivision Ordinance states: "No subdivision shall increase any contaminant concentration in the ground water to more than one half of the Primary Drinking water standards. ..." The primary drinking water standard is 10mg/l of Nitrates so that the Limington standard is 5 mg/l.  The developer apparently is relying on the general provisions for all developments described in the first paragraph of section 10.6.1 which requires only separation from boundaries and wells rather than this more stringent overall performance standard.  I have attached a full copy of the amendment for your reference.
      Section further states that "Projections of ground water quality shall be based on the assumption of drought conditions (assuming 60% of annual average precipitation)."  This section would be practically meaningless for the type of study submitted where only the "Plume Attenuation Analysis" has been performed.  The equations for such an analysis ignore the recharge and dilution factors.  On the other hand, the recharge rate is an important parameter in the mass balance calculations.
      Section 10.6.1 of the Limington Subdivision Standards lists detailed performance standards for hydrogeological assessments, including subsections 2 and 3, which must be met.  The submitted report does not meet these standards.

Issue #4
The Nitrate Attenuation Calculations should be reviewed for the effect of slope.

      The same plume calculations were used for all of the multi-family designs even though some of the plumes are located in Colton Slope A and some are located in Colton Slope B.  One would expect the "Velocity of Contaminant" to be greater for the plumes that are located on the more steeply sloped soils.  An examination of the empirical equations reveals that as the velocity increases, so does the length of the plumes as common sense would dictate.  Because other values in the study, notably the recharge rate, were selected as the best possible values for the applicant's purposes, a careful review of the equation parameters and assumptions by a professional hydrogeologist would be warranted.  I am also curious as to the effect of the frost walls of the structures under which the plumes are shown to travel.

In conclusion, there are many facets of this study which are either questionable or incomplete.  I appreciate your accepting my input on the matter.

Dick Jarrett

      Existing conditions site plan, C2, excerpted and reduced from the original
      DEP guidelines, excerpt
      Soil interpretation records for Colton and Croghan soils
      Limington Subdivision Amendment

CC: Limington Planning Board

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